Over the past couple of days, YouTube has implemented some new “policy changes” that has affected not one, not two, but ALL of my favorite YouTube channels. Long story short: YouTube released a list of vague infractions that allows them to demonetize videos on the principle that they’re not “advertiser-friendly.”
This development has, frankly, made YouTube into yet another war zone not seen since The Fine Bros tried to trademark the word “React” and I’m sure people people aren’t going to shut up about it until next week when YouTube fixes the wording on their emails and fixes the bot that is automatically flagging videos with certain tags on them. At first, I felt the same fire in my belly that everyone else felt when Philip DeFranco first broke the news. However, 12 hours later, I think it’s time everyone sped up the shutting up process because now we’re getting to the overreaction area that just turns out click bait-y videos and articles.
And because the YouTube community loves lists almost as much as they love overreacting, I made a list that I’m going to title 5 Reasons You Should Quit Crying About the YouTube Policy Changes.
1. They didn’t even change the policy. These policy “changes” have actually been around for a while. The only change is that YouTube has just now started telling creators about their demonetized videos. Now that’s the real problem here that literally no one is discussing. How long have creators had videos demonetized without notification? No one knows and that’s the true scary part. However this leads to…
2. This is actually a good sign for YouTube creators (?). With the changes in this policy implementation, this is evidence that YouTube is attempting to communicate more clearly with their creators. For years, the YouTube corp. has just sort of wallowed in the background as the creators ran amuck freely, only speaking up to yell at the creators. This is the first step to YouTube corp. initializing contact with the creators so that they can find a happy middle ground to compromise on where YouTube can appease advertisers and creators can appease themselves/fans. However, YouTube has sort of stepped on the creators’ toes during the first dance with this one so maybe next time? With a better worded email?
3. Your favorite YouTubers can still swear, oh my god, it’s not that big of deal. YES your favorite YouTubers can still swear their happy little asses off and not get their videos taken down. (Actually, this tidbit was a huge relief for this Game Grumps fan, but I digress.) YouTube is not looking to take down the YouTubers who use curse words as regular parts in their conversations. YouTube is looking to take down the videos where those cuss words are used explicitly to hurt or offend. Homophobic videos, Islamophobic, Racism….you get the picture. YouTube is a huge platform. Not everyone who is a part of it is a good person and they shouldn’t get money for harboring hate.
4. YouTube always has poor bots. We know this from 10 years of Content ID. Clearly this first phase of implementing their policy has had some issues, especially with videos addressing mental illness, suicide, rape, etc. It’ll be fixed within the month or two, especially with the amount of outcry by their biggest creators. If the bots aren’t fixed, then let me direct you to the appeals process. If it’s the same as the new one they implemented for incorrect copyright claims, then there shouldn’t be a problem with losing out on money you deserve. The only problem would be the sheer size of claims which just means you’ll get your money later than expected.
5. No, YouTube isn’t censoring anyone. Quit saying that. If YouTube was “censoring” these violators, they would’ve completely removed the video. But they’re not. Instead, they’re just removing the monetization from that video which is NOT censorship. It’s just business. Yes in a way, this is a form of censorship since the larger YouTube community revolves around creating videos they can monetize, but at the same time it isn’t censorship. At all. YouTubers can still make their usual videos that violate these policies, but just not get paid for it. As a YouTube creator who has yet to see a dime from YouTube, I have little sympathy for the creators whining solely about “censorship”. Most YouTubers don’t even depend their paychecks solely on YouTube anymore. They have merchandise, Patreon, businesses, and etc. that pay them way more than that YouTube paycheck. If you’re not those lucky YouTubers, then I’m sorry? I guess? Go through the appeals process? Once again, very hard for me to garner sympathy when I personally have to work three jobs on top of being a full time student and still find the time to do the YouTube thing.
So in conclusion, all of YouTube is a massive drama queen. None of them like change and all of this will blow over within the month. Everyone is forgetting that YouTube grew from the ground up. They weren’t always a part of Google (all hail the overlord), they weren’t always the leader in online video, and they definitely don’t always know what they’re doing. As YouTube grows beyond YouTube corp.’s capabilities, we’ll always have incidents like this where YouTube corp. attempts to rope in their herd and ends up getting trampled by the stampede.
YouTube isn’t over and there’s never going to be another YouTube to compete with it. We’re just going to have to work with what we have and help it grow as we grow so we can create the best situation for creators and YouTube corp.
Check out my “advertiser-friendly” YouTube channel here. If you have anything you want to discuss, I’m also on Twitter. If Twitter ain’t your thing, I gotchu on Facebook too. If none of the above works for you, I can also be reached at maddnessbusiness(@)gmail(.)com.